The MD of SizweNtsalubaGobodo says ‘a certain race group’ has got away with a slap on the wrist for corruption disguised as collusion
At the International Fraud Awareness Week Seminar in Durban on Wednesday‚ SizweNtsalubaGobodo MD Peter Goss threw down the gauntlet to businesses, saying they know how fraud and corruption started as they were the ones who sat in boardrooms making big decisions.
The seminar was hosted by eThekwini Municipality and organised by the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners (ACFE).
“We are leaders as business but not doers … business is noisy by being absent on corruption. They contribute nothing to fight fraud and corruption. I challenge a change in mindset of management and that starts with the business owner‚” Goss said.
He also decried fraud and corruption‚ saying it had a “colour” in the private sector, using the example of the construction and bread cartels‚ which got away with slaps on the wrist for their wrongdoing.
“Here I’m talking about a certain race group. There it is disguised as collusion‚ and not corruption. I can go on and on‚” he said.
Fielding questions later Goss said he would not be apologetic for his statement. “I don’t know how to apologise‚” he said.
Goss said what was needed in the private sector was effective and ethical leadership and management that used and implemented the world’s best models to prevent fraud and corruption.
“You cannot banish corruption without being transparent. The challenge we have is that we do not even know how much fraud and corruption is there‚ yet we choose our own terms‚” he said.
“If CEOs and board chairs are not here, we are scratching the surface and lying to each other and glorifying ourselves because real stealing happens in the boardroom. Sometimes as a manager‚ before signing off something‚ you should stop and ask if there’s no corruption in what you are signing.” ACFE CEO Jaco de Jager agreed that business was vulnerable‚ saying it should come up with measures that prevent and deter fraud and corruption.
“Business should not stop in creating awareness and business should have a hotline to report incidents of fraud‚” he said.
Ethekwini municipality’s head of the City Integrity and Investigations Unit‚ Mbuso Ngcobo‚ admitted that when he first joined the city, corruption was rampant‚ but said that they had been able to turn the tide.
“What’s encouraging is that the city has a clear stance on anticorruption. It’s also encouraging that people are reporting fraud and corruption and we have concluded many investigations. Others have been referred to the South African Police Service‚ some people and businesses have been blacklisted as a result‚” he said.